I have old plaster walls in my house that had been walpapered. I have removed the wallpaper and cleaned the walls. I am ready to prime and patch, but am not sure what kind of primer to use. The plaster does not appear to have ever been painted. Can I use a water based primer or should I use oil based? If I use an oil based primer, can I use latex paint over it or do I have to use oil based paint too?

  • You typically need to match the primer type to the paint type, but the instructions on the paint can will tell you if that brand has any exceptions to the rule. (Not posting as an answer in the hopes someone may have tips for painting a previously wallpapered plaster wall.)
    – BMitch
    Commented Nov 8, 2015 at 2:02
  • Is there any glue residue or staining? If not, any non-PVA primer is fine - check the manufacturer's primer recommendations for the top-coat paint.
    – Comintern
    Commented Nov 8, 2015 at 17:12
  • There is a little staining and maybe a couple of spots of glue. I have only washed it with water so far, but am planning on using a tsp cleaner on it.
    – Natalie
    Commented Nov 8, 2015 at 23:19

1 Answer 1


I have done some of this same work. I have heard that glue residue can mess up the paint finish over time, so I wanted to make sure that was taken into account when selecting a primer.

I called the Killz company (Killz.com) because that's the brand that's easiest to find in my area and I have used their products in the past with good results.

Their tech support told me that Killz Klear (or Killz Klear Max) is the best product for covering up adhesive residue. The rep also said that Klear is good for chalky surfaces in general, so it sounds like it's a good choice on unpainted plaster even if you do manage to remove all the adhesive.

The Killz Klear is water based and should only be used with latex paints.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.